23 Feb 2024

Event Summary: Tech for Good – transforming policing in Scotland

On 17 February 2024, techUK hosted a panel in partnership with Forensic Analytics at the Scottish Labour Party’s Conference in Glasgow:  ‘Tech for Good – transforming policing in Scotland’. Joining the panel as speakers were:

  • Daniel Johnson MSP – Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Business and Fair Work 
  • Pauline McNeill MSP – Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice
  • Andrew Fahey – Business Development Director, Forensic Analytics 
  • Rebekah Cheung – Lead Project Liaison officer, White Ribbon Scotland 
FA panel edit.jpg

The panel began with a discussion of the importance of technology to public service reform. It was outlined by Daniel Johnson MSP that the private and public sectors in Scotland are in a symbiotic relationship, each needing the other to fully realise their potential. This co-dependency extends to technology, which Johnson outlined as being the way ‘things get done’.

The panel outlined that, when it came to reforming the justice system and combatting Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and Rape and Serious Sexual Assault (RASSO), tech was not the silver bullet that could solve everything. This was agreed by the panel unanimously. To prevent these kinds of serious offences, the emphasis was agreed to be on prevention first and foremost, and secondly on increasing the conviction rate for these offences. It is in these spheres that the panel outlined how tech can play a part.

Firstly, technology can play a role in identifying who is at risk of becoming a perpetrator and targeting prevention. Rebekah Cheung of White Ribbon Scotland, which works to educate men on VAWG and RASSO, highlighted how picking up on warning signs earlier on can improve prevention and stop serious crimes happening in the first place.

Technology has a part to play as well though in increasing convictions. The use of digital forensics, as offered by Forensic Analytics, can be used to acquire evidence from digital devices that may change the outcome of a case. This can include by providing compelling evidence to a jury or even by leading to a confession and preventing a trial in the first place.

However, for these positive opportunities to be taken on, it was agreed there needs to be culture shifts Police Scotland that include stamping out any misogyny and other discriminatory practices, as well as being even more open to new technological solutions. Culture shifts such as these would allow police to best use the tools technology provides to combat VAWG and RASSO.

The panel also highlighted how this was the case in the wider judicial system. Pauline McNeill MSP noted that Scotland has the highest remanded population in Europe, and tech could speed up convictions and ensure that as few people awaiting sentences are in custody. However, this also requires supporting the existing legal system and ensuring that there is enough capacity in prisons for those who have been sentenced.

techUK would like to thank each of our speakers for their valuable insights and Forensic Analytics for partnering with techUK on this panel.

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I am delighted to be joining techUK’s Nations and Regions Council as Vice Chair. I am committed to supporting techUK’s ambition to ensure equitable growth across the nation, building on my own experiences of developing the UK Space Ecosystem. I am excited to be part of this new Council which will bring together talented colleagues from across a range of sectors to create opportunities and bolster local economic growth across the UK.

Dr Nafeesa Dajda

Satellite Applications Catapult

I'm delighted to be part of the council; as devolution increases, the ability for techUK and it's members to be able to engage at a regional level and champion the role of tech sector in driving inclusive economic growth becomes ever more critical

Marie Hamilton


The Local Digital Index that BT Group has been pleased to champion from the outset is a real reminder of the challenges and opportunities we face across the UK in ensuring digital innovation delivers for all of us. So I am looking forward to working with and learning from Council members in the nations and regions to help make that happen and ensure we build on the best of what our sector has to offer

Nick Speed, Head of Nations & Regions

BT Group

techUK – Building Stronger Local Economies 


techUK champions the tech sector throughout the UK. We work with local authorities, devolved government, and local and national policy makers to advocate for the tech sector in strengthening economic growth and resilience. We provide opportunities for our members and local stakeholders to meet, build relationships, and collaborate to drive forward local projects. For more information or to get in touch, please visit our Nations and Regions Hub and click ‘contact us’. 

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